Thursday, February 1, 2024

$50 Nikonos V Tested

As someone who really enjoys using one of Nikon's quirky, cool and bombproof Nikonos II cameras, I had to pounce on a Facebook Marketplace Nikonos V find in Santa Rosa for all of $50 right before Xmas. 

The Nikonos V was the last in the series of rangefinder dive cameras, superseded by the Nikonos RS underwater SLR. They're funky and fun to use, and use a range focusing method. So yeah, some of the shots were not as sharp as I would have liked. But I don't think anyone is here for a history lesson. Anyway, it has the aesthetics of a kid's first camera - just needs a Fisher-Price logo on it. 

This particular camera had a slight ding in the outer lens flange, but the issue was merely cosmetic and didn't affect the images. Still, I managed to find a ding-free one on eBay pretty cheap, and that is what's shown here, along with a screw-on lens hood. The battery still had plenty of juice, so I threw a roll of Kodak Ultra 400 in it and put it this beast to the test. Here are the resulting images - 39 in total, not including the not-worth-posting first-of-the-roll. Pretty impressive to squeeze that many out of a 36 exposure roll. 

Lots of overly-warm tones from Bodega Head in late afternoon sun. Maybe the fierce winds had something to do with it. Probably not. 

And Bodega Harbor.

Since I am on this Bodega kick, some from Bodega proper:

First-generation Mazda RX-7 and a Chrysler Imperial in San Rafael, snapped when I made a trip to Seawood Photo

And some frames captured while out on a Saturday spin:

Petaluma skyline:

And the last of the roll, waiting at a light on the drive home one rainy evening:

But it seems that the winder was cracked, so the handle broke off, necessitating a slightly laborious process to get the film back into the canister. Still worth it, seeing that similar condition cameras sell for 4-5x what I paid for this one. 

Already looking forward to the next roll.